Newport Beach shares its love of the color green with Earth Day at the Bay

People celebrating Earth Day at the Bay at Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center. Trevor Speetzen | Lariat

Newport celebrates Earth Day with an event to spread awareness of saving the Earth

The annual Earth Day at the Bay celebration took place in Newport Beach on April 23 at the Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center. This event was held to celebrate Earth Day and to help spread awareness for certain organizations on how to protect the Earth. Live music, information booths and family-friendly activities were set to make this event informative and fun.

Many different organizations were present at this event in order to advocate for a way to protect the environment. Organizations such as OC parks, California Department of Fish & Wildlife and even Irvine Ranch Water District all made an appearance. Jeannette Bush, a representative of Bolsa Chica Conservancy, was present to talk about her non-profit organization.

“We work on public education and restoration of land at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve,” Bush said. “It’s a wetland, much like Newport Beach.” 

Bolsa Chica is dedicated to conserving and educating people on the preservation of coastal ecology and wetland sciences. Many organizations like hers, mostly non-profit, came out to Earth Day at the Bay to spread awareness on certain topics that people tend to forget. The American Cetacean Society was present to talk about their non-profit.

“The American Cetacean Society is the longest-running organization protecting whales,” president of the ACS Daryth Morrissey said. 

A board member of the American Cetacean Society, Frank LeFranc, talked about how coming to an event like this is helpful to nonprofits to help spread their cause. LeFranc shared that the celebration of Earth Day brings these organizations together to share their common goal.

“It’s an amazing event,” Lefranc said. “You have a bunch of different organizations working towards the same cause which is essentially saving the Earth.”

The American Cetacean Society works towards saving and protecting whales, but they also work to protect other mammals, such as dolphins and porpoises. ACS works to protect their habitats as well through public education, research grants and conservation actions.

ACS wasn’t the only organization that was there to advocate for the safety of ocean creatures and mammals. Shark Stewards is another non-profit that was in attendance in order to promote the safety of sharks and their habitats. A representative of Shark Stewards, Jose Gomez, talked about the goals of the organization. 

“Our main objective is to try and stop the shark fin trade,” Gomez said. “Over 70 million sharks are slaughtered and used for their fins.”

These non-profit organizations do their best to spread their message of saving the environment, but usually struggle to gain traction from time to time. Utilizing the Earth Day holiday and coming to events like this is a great way for them to get the word out. John Savage of the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District had this to say about Earth Day at the Bay.

“This event helps spread awareness about Earth Day,” Savages said. “It spreads awareness about potential vectors and potential disease spread and the elimination of that.”

The Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District covers Orange County for mosquito prevention and elimination, along with rats and fire ants. Savage explains that coming to an event like this can help educate people on mosquito prevention and claims that source reduction is the best way to do that.

“Usually getting rid of water,” Savage said. “You get rid of water, you get rid of a mosquito source.”

The organizations set up at this event have the same interest of saving the Earth and spreading the message of that. Events like Earth Day at the Bay have a key objective of bringing the community together and understanding why protecting our earth is important to humanity. Teresa Garcia, a program nationalist with Inside the Outdoors, had this to say about Earth Day.

“We love teaching about the Earth,” Garcia said. “It’s giving students and the general public knowledge about how to take care of our Earth and everything like that and we want to make sure that everyone is aware of what is around them because sometimes we forget about looking deeply and we forget where we actually live.”

Inside the Outdoors is another non-profit that specializes in educating students and teachers about the community and how to protect the Earth. The next Earth Day at the Bay celebration will take place once again next year on Earth Day.